Do Labour actually want to win? – alittleecon

Here’s a question from alittleecon that has certainly occurred to Yr Obdt Srvt, considering the lack of interest in opposing some obvious nonsense spouted by the Tories (amongst others), and the similarly bizarre lack of interest in policies that are both worthwhile and popular (although in balance it should be added that many current Labour policies are both – meaning they score over almost all Tory policies).

Alex Little has other concerns, also: “Maybe, like David Cameron, they are seeing ‘red warning lights‘ flashing in the world economy, and just don’t fancy it.

“They tried to out-do UKIP on immigration by pretending ‘benefits tourism’ is a massive problem they are determined to solve (a laughable proposition).

“And today, some idiot MP gives the strong impression she despises the sort of people who traditionally vote Labour.”

Good questions. Shame the Labour leadership seems determined to evade providing any answers. As a member, I don’t want to have to put up with this behaviour. Why would any floating voter?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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11 thoughts on “Do Labour actually want to win? – alittleecon

  1. steve scott

    If Labour DID seriously want to win next year, then starting by embracing popular policies such as renationalising railways,energy & Royal Mail would help greatly. Instead we seem to be frightened about disagreeing with the Daily Mail and to be becoming as much like UKIP & the Tories as we can.
    We’re enabling a Tory/UKIP coalition next year and that will cause irreparable damage to the nation.Because Labour offer little REAL alternative it almost seems a wasted vote. At the moment I’m voting Green next May. First time in my 60 plus years I’m not voting Labour.

      1. alhggyb

        Would you please explain how Labour is an alternative? An alternative is a difference. There is nothing that they propose that will make sod all difference to the hardest hit people. It’s all just window dressing and tinkering around the edges with existing policies. The Greens are the only party in England that offer REAL alternative policies to the existing status quo. Change comes from being brave and trying something different. The mistake would be voting Labour just to keep the Tories/UKIP out. That’s just cowardice in my opinion.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        And you think the Greens are ready to take on the Conservatives?
        How much of the vote did they receive in the Rochester and Strood by election, again?

      3. Terry Jager

        The Greens have won my support , also for similar reasons – strong government requires strong opposition ,we have neither. time for a real alternative & that’s not a mistake .

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        We haven’t got a strong government. Cameron isn’t a strong leader. The Coalition’s policies are poor – if they were strong, we really would have more people in work, for longer hours and better pay – and the economy would be steaming along without a care in the world. We haven’t got that.
        What we’ve got is a loudmouthed mass media that is hugely vocal in support of the Coalitions weak government, and an Opposition Party that is frightened of sticking its collective head over the parapet and saying anything that this loud-but-ignorant press can attack (even though the actual argument would be meaningless; the assumption is that most people don’t look beyond the headline).

  2. Michele Witchy Eve

    Reading two of your other blogs (Labour’s plans for sanctions and the Ed Balls blog) it occurs to me that it’s not only the possibility of a crash that is bothering the Labour leadership. Even without a crash Labour’s task is huge and largely thankless. Just on social security Labour has a demon to slay. Remove the sanctioning regime, they still have to deal with large numbers of ‘invisible’ unemployed (WCA, work programmes et al). If Labour attempts to redress this injustice it will effectively raise ‘official’ unemployment figures (to their true level) and the country will be up in arms about the rising numbers, failing to appreciate the previous Tory deceit or plain economic truths.

    The same applies to housing problems. If Labour actually did what was necessary, that alone would begin to push down the prices of houses overall – probably even in London – which then has the knock-on effect of cutting profits to property owners and, more importantly, to mortgage holders by bringing existing mortgages into negative equity, which then brings all kinds of wailing and weeping and laying of blame at Labour’s door. The property owning class is a powerful lobby group and can only be ignored at your peril. Which would be bad enough on its own, but the fact that our present economy is being heavily supported by the property market and associated financial services and you begin to see it all unravelling rather quicker than the Tories plan (hence the Tories rabid scrabbling to asset-strip as much as they can before the crash finally happens).

    These are just two areas where there are bear-pits waiting to trap Labour. It’s hardly surprising that they might appear somewhat reluctant to engage.

    1. Daniel

      Negative equity is only a problem if you need to remortgage (most homeowners wouldn’t) or you’re using the property as an investment (again, this excludes most homeowners). Houses should be seen as a place to live, not a way of raising revenue! And if the housing market isn’t gently corrected soon (which can be done by massive investment in social housing), it’ll crash instead when the bulk of possible entrants to the market drop out. I know which I’d rather see – gentle correction leading to a few years of negative equity before correction over a catastrophic collapse of the market!

      1. Michele Witchy Eve

        I agree with you Daniel, totally. Unfortunately I also remember the last time house prices ‘ajusted’ during the late 80’s early 90’s. Most home owners seem to think in terms of what they could do if they wanted to rather than what it is they actually need to do. People are, it seems, not socially concerned when it comes to their assets, which is how they are encouraged to view their homes. And you’re right that a gradual devaluing of property is definitely preferable to what is most likely to happen in the present market. The problem for Labour is that there is a likelihood of a property crash in the next parliament if Labour can’t control the heat in the market – putting them up against the property/financial barons.

        Decades of low housing provision means that demands are for a level of building/refurb that makes a gentle adjustment in house pricing very difficult, if not impossible. So whichever way Labour tries to play this they will be censured by one side or the other (and probably both sides simultaneously). It’s a no-win politically, as are many of the issues that Labour will be faced with. Unless significant numbers of the voting population develop a more social inclination in how they think about their ‘assets’ and other people generally, Labour is on a hiding-to-nothing and I think they (Labour leadership) are well aware of it.

  3. Daniel

    Michele:

    It’s only since the 80’s we (as a nation) have been obsessed as homeowners – specifically due to the sale of council estates (which had become sink estates due to chronic underinvestment, unemployment and poverty!). This decline started with the introduction of neoclassical economics, or so-called neoliberalism: unemployed are an essential factor in this policy, i.e. NAIRU or Non-Accelerating Inflationary Rate of Unemployment. Specifically, the market requires a pool of “available” labour, in order to prevent inflationary wage rises. Fine, if the state acknowledges this need and keeps the available pool sufficiently supported via benefits, possibly even in social housing with affordable rents, but this lot (Cameron, Osborne and the vile IDS) are now demonising said unemployed, hoodwinking the electorate into the same thing, and seem to be determined to eliminate social housing entirely – the Spare Room subsidy is about moving social tenants into private accommodation, as highlighted by Mike in this blog!

    What’s needed to address the imbalance in the housing market is Rent control and more Social housing, both things Labour have pledged to do, so good news there. And I firmly believe that suitable rent controls would help slow down, even reverse house price inflation. Additionally, removing tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage interest would also help make such purchases less attractive, making “entry” houses more likely to be bought by first time buyers rather than buy-to-let landlords, who then rent to those first-timers instead!

    Strangely, neoliberalism could also be a viable political mix with some socialism, instead of being a polar opposite. For example, NAIRU works fine with a citizen’s income! Then, wages become something of a “top-up”, and at the same time, unemployment no longer goes hand in hand with destitution. Entrepreneurs have a stock of workers (who would not necessarily need sky-high wages) to conduct business, reskilling becomes an option if employees find their current skill set is not required by the labour market, and best of all (in terms of the free-marketers at least) a fixed Citizen’s Income requires less state control, as it would not be means tested. The Green Party want to introduce this. If Labour offered this, it would, I think, attract a swathe of disenchanted voters to them…

    (sorry for the economics lecture, and I must add the caveat that I am a self-taught economics dabbler, by no means an expert!)

    1. Michele Witchy Eve

      No apologises necessary Daniel. I agree with everything you have said. Will the Labour leadership agree though?

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